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GEOG 2000: Regional Geography Russia Ukraine (Chaney): Black Sea / Global Exports

This guide supports the mock UN trial assignment.

Geoeconomics of the Black Sea

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Why Russia wants Ukraine's coastline and control of the Black Sea?

Russia and Ukraine are competitive global exporters of wheat.  95% of Ukraine’s wheat exports are transported via the Black Sea.  Stopping Ukraine from using the Black Sea essentially eliminates competition for Russian wheat exports and kills Ukraine’s ability to export other products destroying their economy.

Currently Russia controls Black Sea coastlines in Crimea (2014) and Georgia (2008). Getting Ukraine’s additional hundreds of miles of coastline would permit Russia more control over the Black Sea. 

More control would allow:

Oil and Gas Exports

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There are several articles, reports, and videos within this course website that cover the issue of oil and natural gas. Use the tabs above to move to those pages.


Wheat Exports

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Russia is the world's largest exporter of wheat.

Ukraine is the 5th largest exporter of wheat and the largest exporter of seed oils.

War/conflict would affect global grain prices and increase food scarcity in parts of Europe, Northern Africa, and parts of the Middle East.

Ukraine's Agricultural Land / Breadbasket of Europe

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Ukraine is considered the Breadbasket of Europe.  71% of Ukrainian land is agricultural.  It contains 25% of the world's highly fertile "black soil" (chernozem).